SageCat cruise report

SageCat owner Cody sent a report on his cruise of Washington State’s San Juan Islands in late July ’17 –

I had a fantastic cruise in the San juans aboard Sagecat! The first 4 days I spent alone shaking the boat down in cruising trim and the last 6 days and nights were with my wife and one of her best girlfriends and our dog. I was extremely cautious and tentative about how the boat would do with 3 adults and cruising gear aboard but she did great! Her sailing performance was still quite good and we were all able to sleep, cook and lounge aboard. I never tied up to a dock for the entire trip and used an inflatable SUP to shuttle the girls one at a time to shore each day! The v berth is a marvel as all 3 of us were able to sleep, albeit snugly, lying shoulder to shoulder. A big hats off to Jerry on the design and to you all at Sage Marine for a top notch build!

The pics below are of an approximation of our route and one of us at anchor on the south shore of Jones Island.

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Thanks for sharing Cody!

Feeding the body part 1 – where to cook and what with?

When talking about the Sage 17, or the other Jerry Montgomery designs I’ve owned an sailed, a common question is ‘where and how do you cook?’

Choosing a stove:

  • Never consider using a white gas fueled stove!  The fuel is much to dangerous to use on a boat.
  • Propane stoves are an option that I recommend if you choose a model where the burner doesn’t sit on top of the fuel canister.  The ‘burner on top’ design is unstable on a boat.  Forespar made a very nice gimbaled stove called the Mini-Galley … sadly the unit has been discontinued.  If you don’t mind drilling holes to mount one, and can find one, the Mini-Galley is the only ‘burner on top’ stove I recommend.
  • There are alcohol stoves.  I don’t recommend the pressurized models as they are prone to flame ups (watched my Mom burn hair off her hands many times on boats that had these stoves).  The low cost, or build your own ‘made out of a beer can’ styles. are not safe on a boat as they are not stable (like mentioned above when discussing propane stoves).  Origo makes a non-pressurized alcohol stove that is very good with a few limitations: the stove is expensive, large, and the alcohol fuel is expensive.  When considering alcohol be aware it doesn’t create a lot of heat … meaning heating water for the morning coffee will take a lllloooonnnngggg time.

An Origo one burner stove. Image Source: REIMO, www.reimo.com

    • Butane stoves are a good option.  Most of these stoves use a canister that mounts into the stove horizontally and to the side of the side the burner.  This means the stove is very stable as it is only a few inches tall and has a wide base.  The fuel costs are about the same as propane and the stoves are very low cost.  For the past nine years I’ve used a $25 ‘Max Burton’ butane stove.

A Max Burton butane stove. Image source: Max Burton Appliances, Image Source: Max Burton Appliances, www.maxburtonappliances.com

Where to cook:

There are real dangers in cooking on a boat.  The first is the issue of fire.  Be sure you understand how to use the stove by cooking a few meals on the unit at home.  A few test meals also allows you to see stove’s heating properties.

Be sure you use the stove in a location where you significantly limit the chance something will catch fire.  When cooking never leave the stove unattended.  You must have a fire extinguisher easily accessible and near where you are cooking.  If you are cooking in the cabin, do this only as a last resort (more on this later), be sure you have adequate ventilation so you, and others in the cabin, don’t asphyxiate.

My preference, and recommendation, is to cook in the cockpit.  This is safer and provides the chief with cooking space.

Cooking in Sage 17 AIR BORN's cockpit in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Cooking in Sage 17 AIR BORN’s cockpit in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

‘But Dave, what do you do when the weather is poor?’

My first step is to still cook in the cockpit and I go below.  Small boats are nice in you can reach the stove from the companionway where you stay dry and out of the wind.

If the weather is REALLY bad I do cook in the Sage 17 cabin –

Cooking in Sage 17 AIR BORN's cabin on one of the seats.  NOT RECOMMENDED.

Cooking in Sage 17 AIR BORN’s cabin on one of the seats. NOT RECOMMENDED.

Again, I will only cook in the cabin when the outdoor conditions make it impossible to use the stove.  Be aware that using a stove in the cabin you are in a very small space with limited egress if something in the cabin caught fire. As I wrote above, you must have a fire extinguisher easily accessible and near where you are cooking.  Keep adequate ventilation by having the forward hatch and companionway open so you, and others in the cabin, don’t asphyxiate and can quickly get out if there is a fire.

Stove fuel storage:

Obviously stove fuels are flammable and explosive.  All the stove fuels above, except alcohol, are heavier than air.  When storing fuel canisters never, again that word, place them in a location where leaking fuel can collect in the boat.  This means not in a cockpit locker or in the cabin.  If the a canister leaks the gas will settle in the bilge and a spark will case a HUGE EXPLOSION.  Take no chances and store the fuel in the cockpit where there is lots of air flow (I store the butane canisters at the aft end of the cockpit floor where I also keep the outboard engine gas can).  Another safe option is to put the canisters in a container with vents on the bottom that is hung over the side of the hull so any leaking gas goes overboard.

Above a PVC pipe is used to store fuel canisters. There are multiple holes in the bottom cap to make a vent so any leaking gas can escape. Attach to the boat, away from the board, so leaking gas goes overboard. Image source: Gatita – Sailing in San Francisco, www.gatita.sikdar.us

In the next post on this topic I discuss how I organize my galley.

– Dave

P.S.  A few hours after I this blog was posted Small Craft Advisor posted the following on their Facebook feed –

Read details about this solution on where to put the stove –

http://www.clcboats.com/life-of-boats-blog/build-a-small-boat-galley-box.html

A nicely done project.

Building a mast

The Sage 17 mast is provided by Dwyer Aluminum Mast Company.  Each mast arrived with the t-ball fittings, mast foot pivot pin and PVC pipe used to run electrical wire installed.  The fastener holes are also drilled & tapped for the masthead fitting & spreaders.

First task to putting the mast together is to remove the pivot pin and then remove the lower section of the PVC tubing.  The tubing needs to come out so it isn’t cut while I install the mast hardware.

Next I work from the foot of the mast and drill the fasterner holes for the hardware: exit plates for the halyards, ClamCleats for the reefing lines, gooseneck fitting, strapeye for the terminal ends of the reefing lines and cunningham, bolt rope feeder (or mastgate for boat owners wanting slugs on the main’s luff), main halyard cleat, and the exit block for the jib halyard at the hounds.

Fastener holes have been drilled.

Fastener holes have been drilled.

Once all the running and standing rigging fastener holes are set I will then cut the necessary fastener holes and pass-throughs for the masthead light (if ordered).  this includes holes at the foot and head of the mast for the wire to run though, strain relief strap for the wire and installing the masthead light bracket.

The faster holes for fittings near the masthead.  The bracket in place is for the masthead light.

The faster holes for fittings near the masthead. The bracket in place is for the masthead light.

Once all the holes are drilled I now re-install the bottom PVC pipe and run the masthead light wire.  The PVC conduit keeps the wire from slapping inside the mast (no fun to try sleeping with this noise) and assure the internal halyards don’t accidentally become twisted on the wire.

This picture is of the masthead light wire at the foot of the mats.  Look closely and see the PVC pipe used to run the wire up the mast.

This picture is of the masthead light wire at the foot of the mast. Look closely and see the PVC pipe used to run the wire up the mast.

With the wire in place I install the strain relief loop.  This is needed so the weight of the wire doesn’t pull the electrical connectors out of the masthead light.

Masthead light wire at the top of the mast is held with a strain relief loop - in this case a zip tie.

Masthead light wire at the top of the mast is held with a strain relief loop – in this case a zip tie.

Next I install the internal halyards (click here to read why the Sage 17 has internal halyards).  To assist in this I use a cast-off backstay wire that is lead through the mast.   I use this wire to pull the halyard.  Works real slick.

Here are the main halyard (white w/green fleck), jib halyard (white w/red fleck) and the old backstay wire used to pull the lines through the mast.

Here are the main halyard (white w/green fleck), jib halyard (white w/red fleck) and the old backstay wire used to pull the lines through the mast.

While running the main halyard I also take care not to get it wrapped around the last few feet, or top of, the wire heading to the masthead light.

An old backstay is run in the mast so make pulling the internal halyards an easy task.

An old backstay is run in the mast so make pulling the internal halyards an easy task.

When running the jib halyard I also take care it isn’t wrapping around the main halyard.

An old backstay wire has been pulled through the mast.  the jib halyard is run through a block, and then down to the entry hole into the mast.

An old backstay wire has been pulled through the mast. the jib halyard is run through a block, and then down to the entry hole into the mast.

The halyards installed now I fasten the mast hardware in place.  Most of the hardware is installed using stainless blind ‘pop’ rivets.  These rivets are very strong and require the use of an air driven pop rivet ‘gun’.

Installing mast hardware with an air powered pop rivet gun.  These ClamCleats (CL211s) are for the main's reefing lines.

Installing mast hardware with an air powered pop rivet gun. These ClamCleats (CL211s) are for the main’s reefing lines.

Only a few pieces of mast hardware are installed with machine screws: bolt rope feeder, main halyard cleat, spreader brackets, the upper fastener for the masthead light and the Windex bracket at the top of the masthead fitting.

The BoomKicker hardware, gooseneck fitting and bolt rope luff feeder have been installed.

The BoomKicker hardware (owner specified option), gooseneck fitting and bolt rope luff feeder have been installed.

Fittings installed and halyards in place.

Fittings installed and halyards in place.

Once all the hardware is installed I now compete the wiring for the masthead light.  This includes putting the plug to connect to the boat’s electrical system at the foot of the mast and installing the light onto the masthead bracket.

The masthead light and windex fittings have been installed.

The masthead light and windex fittings have been installed.

Getting close now.

I install the spreaders onto the spreader brackets and then the shrouds are put in place.  The Sage 17 uses t-ball fittings for the side stays and the forestay.  T-balls easily install with a twisting motion and then held in place, when slack, using a Gibb insert.  (click here to read about the brand of t-ball fitting used on the Sage 17 being changed.)

Spreader is installed onto the spreader bracket.

Spreader is installed onto the spreader bracket.

The split backstay with the hardware for the backstay adjuster.  at the other end is the diamond plate where the single backstay coming from the masthead is installed.

The split backstay with the hardware for the backstay adjuster. At the other end is the diamond plate where the single backstay coming from the masthead is installed.

The upper shrouds are installed and held in place with Gibb inserts (the black rubber things).  Also pictured is the jib halyard running into the mast.

The upper shrouds are installed and held in place with Gibb inserts (the black rubber things). Also pictured is the jib halyard running into the mast.

When the upper shrouds are installed I tape the outer end of the spreaders in the color appropriate to each side of the mast: red to port and green to starboard (you can see this in the picture below of the completed mast).

The mast is now done and ready to be installed on the boat.  I will cover installing the mast and turning the rig in another post.

The mast is complete and ready to be installed on the boat (pictured in background).

The mast is complete and ready to be installed on the boat (pictured in background).

– Dave

Getting ready for the Wrinkle Boat Ran Tan

The 4th annual Wrinkle Boat Ran Tan on Lake Pleasant AZ is fast approaching, Jan 16-18, and is going to be lots of fun.  Dave will have more to say about this event but here in the shop I have been working on a couple of small projects just for this event.  Some small trophies will be awarded to the lucky few and consist of mast parts that Dave cut up along with another novelty trophy for the sailor that traveled the greatest distance to make the event.

mast parts to be used as trophies

mast parts to be used as trophies

To make these somewhat attractive, I made some bases out of teak scraps I had laying around.  In order to attach the mast section I had to make small back pieces which were epoxied to the base.  A counter sink screw hole through the back allowed me to use a screw to fasten the mast piece.

attaching the back piece

attaching the back piece

Not a very complex project but it was a nice change of pace and they work as planned.  If you think you want one than plan on racing on lake pleasant and hopefully you have what it takes.

Nice trophy!

Nice trophy!

Matt

Sailing in a community

At times I will chime in with posts like this to outline what is happening at Sage Marine besides carbon fiber, fiberglass, gel coat and teak.

Back in 2010 when Sage Marine was still almost a year away from the first production boat’s construction, Sal, Gail and I had a series of phone conversations and emails where we talked about how the company will be different.  This discussion covered more than just a new boat designed by Jerry Montgomery.  The talk was about how Sage Marine will support the pocket cruiser community.

One focus for Sage Marine is being a resource to all pocket cruisers.  This takes many forms.  One example of this is in sponsoring events that focus on small trailerable sailboats.

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Potter Yachter’s Cruiser Challenge on Monterey Bay, CA.

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Colorado Indoor Mid-Winter Messabout in Golden, CO.

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Port Townsend Pocket Yachter’s Pocket Yacht Palooza in Port Townsend, WA.

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Wrinkleboat Intergalactic Championship Regatta & Ran-Tan on Lake Pleasant, AZ.

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Sail Oklahoma on Lake Eufaula, OK.

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Race To Alaska

The above are some of the events that Sage Marine currently sponsors.  These events, in similar and different ways, celebrate the amazing community that is ‘pocket cruisers’, ‘trailerable sailboats’, ‘mini cruisers’, ‘camp cruisers’ and the many other terms appropriate to this hobby.

“OK Dave, where are you going with this?”

Fair question.  Where I am going is that we need not be ‘solo sailors’.  Yes, one of the great things about sailing is going out and just being with wind, water and craft.  Interspersed with moments of solitude we should come together, socialize, have fellowship and in general have a great amount of fun with other sailors.

Next week I will be heading to Arizona to spend Christmas with my folks.  While there I will meet up with two sailing friends I would have never met if it were not for pocket cruiser events like the ones listed above.  These friends were met thought shared activities and enrich my trailer sailor hobby.  I know that even when I going sailing alone there are people that also enjoy adventuring in the ‘little boats’ I love.

As the new year approaches in encourage you to think about hooking up with others that share your passion.  Plan to take part in an event that allows you to meet people that are like you but also different in how they sail, cruise and live their lives with trailerable sailboats.  Such interactions make us a community.

Trailer sailors get together in Steamboat Cove on Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Trailer sailors get together in Steamboat Cove on Lake Havasu, Arizona.

– Dave